Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Latter-day Saint Images, 1936

Latter-day Saint Images, 1936

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 06, 2011

How much we change, how much we remain the same …





Berlin, Germany . . .
MIA Convention . . .




Wilshire Ward, Los Angeles, California
Book of Mormon Club


Chehalis, British Columbia


Liberty 2nd Ward (Salt Lake City)


School for the Deaf, Ogden, Utah
Meeting at Salt Lake Tabernacle Baptistry


Kidderminster, England


On Copenhagen Ferry En Route to Swedish Mission MIA Convention


Visiting Oakland, Pennsylvania


Cedar City, Utah
Sunday School Orchestra


Farmington, Utah
Choir and Play (Improvement Era Drive)


Genealogical Library
Joseph F. Smith Memorial Building, LDS University Campus


Missionaries Leaving for the Field
From the Salt Lake Mission Home, 16 April

(left to right, front:) Edith M. Lindberg, Sylvia Young, Helen Summers, Ida Kohler, Eudell G. Bodily, Dorothy v. Garlick, Nearah Sharp, K. Marie Bouwhuis, LaVon Smart. (second row:) Ronald Christensen, Frank martin, lavon H. Flake, Junius L. Payne, John H. Taylor (President of the Missionary Home), Ruth Allred, Clyde Pyper, A. Lonson Child, Dwain Johnson, Andrus C. Gonzalez, Jr. (third row:) Richard Parry, Earl N. Keate, Orvil L. Murdock, Morrell Turner, Joseph V. Ward, Marvin Hymas, Gilbert S. Stewart, Orville G. Thompson, Ernest F. Wesemann. (fourth row:) Parley V. Oleson, Barney G. Powell, Arthur H. Strong, Alvin M. Jacobsen, James G. Bundy, DeLos Rowe, Anita Richardson, Boyd C. Cheney, William Walkenhorst, Lorenzo P. Allen. (fifth row:) O. Clifford Merrill, Ira Mecham, B. Vere Wilson, Norman B. Erickson, L. Carlyle Shepherd, M.P. Mertlich, Theras Q. Allred, C. Gail Cragun, Monitor C. Noyes. (sixth row:) Charles E. Wright, Herbert J. Ludwig, C. Anderson, Grant A. Farley, David A. Parker, Ray F. Blake, Edwin H. Lauber, Wilford P. Jordan. (top:) Alma Butler, Wayne Cook, Joseph P. Vorkink, Grant B. Thurgood, Morris Menhennel, R.L. Stevens.


Nevada City, Grass Valley California
Rhythm Band


Primary Children’s Hospital
Sunday School


Oslo, Norway
MIA Banquet


April Conference
First Session Shortwaved to Europe


Ensign 11th Ward (Salt Lake City)
Dramatization for June Conference


San Diego Branch Primary
At California Pacific International Exposition


Capitol Hill Ward, Salt Lake City




  1. That first one is a little jarring, isn’t it?

    I assume that the display was in order to comply with the law, and for nothing else.

    Other than that, looks like it was a good time to be in MIA in Oslo! What a crowd!

    Comment by Tom O. — September 6, 2011 @ 7:32 am

  2. The picture of the Oslo MIA struck me as well. What a party!

    I am rather envious of the architecture of those two Salt Lake City chapels, Liberty 2 and Capitol Hill, especially the Capitol Hill Ward building. It reminds me of some of the architecture in the Mt Airy section of Philadelphia, one of my current favorite places.

    Comment by Researcher — September 6, 2011 @ 7:59 am

  3. Tom, I don’t think the Church owned anything like that building in Berlin in those days — it appears to be a theater or civic hall which they probably rented, and the flag was probably part of the established decor, not anything added by the MIA. Perhaps Steve C. knows more and will comment.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 6, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  4. I’ve been waiting for one of these Nazi-flags-behind-the-Mormon-podium pics to post on the bloggernacle so I didn’t have to. (Actually, I don’t really have one. I’ve just seen them in print before). I do note that this was not just a “Young Mens” conference because there are flowers and a table cloth on the table in front of the speaker.

    Comment by Grant — September 6, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  5. Ardis – Do you know who the names of the gentlemen in the “Visiting Oakland, Pennsylvania” photo? Interesting sign that was posted on the tree…wonder if it worked as a missionary tool.

    Comment by Cliff — September 6, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  6. A Sunday School Orchestra? Wow.

    Those MIA conferences seemed to be something else, too!

    Comment by Paul — September 6, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  7. Cliff, sorry, I don’t. I’m pretty sure the sign was posted by locals as a tourist thing rather than by the Church as a missionary tool. This is the place that was known as Harmony, Pennsylvania, in Joseph Smith’s day, and we didn’t have any kind of a visitors’ center or anything like that in the area in the 1930s so far as I know.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 6, 2011 @ 11:41 am

  8. I’ve been on that Ferry! Well, hopefully not the same ferry, but it’s a cool ferry journey as it takes 20 minutes and you sail past Hamlet’s castle.

    The Kidderminster photo- am willing to guess who the missionaries are; you can always tell, especially back in those days :-)

    As for the Berlin photo- eeewwww. Interesting though.

    Comment by Anne (UK) — September 6, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  9. I love this series!

    Regarding the first pic, I think that by 1936, the swastika was the national flag (not political party) which might explain its presence.

    In the Oakland, Pa. pic, the gentleman on the right bears an uncanny resemblance to a young J. Reuben Clark.

    The Wilshire Ward pops up quite often in this series. I wonder if it’s because LeGrand Richards lived there, or if there was another connection with the church magazines, or if I just have a selective memory.

    I can’t imagine getting food for that Norway banquet. I also can’t imagine any kind of ward event that requires stemware.

    Comment by The Other Clark — September 6, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

  10. My wife’s family was from Kidderminster, England but had emigrated to the United States in the 1840s.

    I’m not sure where Ardis got the picture of the Berlin MIA convention, but the photo was used in a Church News article entitled “Germany Holds M.I.A. ‘Echo of Joy’ Festival,” published 18 July 1936. The MIA conference was held from Saturday, 30 May to Monday, 1 June 1936. The conference was held, according to the Church News, “in one of Berlin’s most prominent assembly halls.” At the time, the Church owned only one building in Germany. It rented meeting halls throughout the country. In the photo are President Joseph F. Merrill of the European mission and President Roy A. Welker of the German-Austrian mission as well as their wives. The event was like a typical youth conference with a Gold and Green ball, a testimony meeting, and several other inspirational sessions. Presidents Merrill and Welker were the keynote speakers at the Sunday session.

    This particular conference was well attended and considered by mission officials to be very successful. With the 1936 Olympic games spotlighting Germany, Nazi officials were more tolerant of all religions which, I think, contributed to the success of this youth conference. From the tone of the article, it seems that Church authorities were impressed that they could hold the conference in a “prominent” meeting hall—an indication that the Church was accepted in Germany.

    As for the National Socialist flag displayed, it was probably part of the “established décor” as Ardis puts it. I’m sure that Church authorities were not going to push the issue of the flag. If fact, it was not uncommon for meetings to be held in rented halls with Nazi flags in the background. Remember, this was Nazi Germany. In 1937 the Church News published a photo of President Heber J. Grant attending a meeting in Frankfurt. Behind him was a large swastika flag. While such photos are a bit jarring, at the time the Nazi flag did not carry quite the same sinister or evil connotations as it does now (we now know the evil nature of the Third Reich which they did not know in 1936). I get the impression that at the time, CN editors included the flag in its publications as a devise to emphasize where the event took place and the international nature of the Church. The problem is that the same picture could be misinterpreted as Church support for the Party/ideology.

    Comment by Steve C. — September 6, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

  11. Thanks, Steve. I scanned this from an Improvement Era, one item on a page of short newsy clips without much detail. You da man with da knowledge!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 6, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  12. In the Church News article, there was a second picture of the banquet that was held at the conference as well. The second picture draws a little attention away from the flag in the first. Also, the CN article did not mention anything political. Again, minimizing the flag.

    Comment by Steve C. — September 6, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

  13. There is nothing I can add about the first photo, so I wont even try.

    But I will say thatI love seeing the missionary/MTC photos, with the names!!! Everytime you post one I scan for names I might have run into elsewhere. None this time, but I appreciate your putting it online.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 6, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

  14. No idea on how the dates match up, but is Pres Uchdorf old enough to have attended the MIA? Maybe his parents? I recall the story of his family having to move from East to West Germany, but I’ve no idea of the dates of any of it.

    Comment by Frank Pellett — September 6, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  15. Maybe instead of a random Missionary Home group in a post like this, Bruce, I should throw up some posts that show all the groups for a couple of months at a time, with all the names. They’d be so much alike that they wouldn’t be terribly interesting to most people, but if someone found a familiar name and face it would be worth it.

    Frank, Pres. Uchtdorf was still a young child at the end of the war. He told a story in Conference once about refugeeing with his mother and siblings on a train — his mother went to look for food or something, they moved the train, she came back and couldn’t immediately find her children, and all that. So this would be too early for him. Still, I know what you mean — it would be fun to know that someone prominent now appeared in a picture long before we knew who he was.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 6, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  16. President Uchtdorf was born in 1940. His family did not join the Church until after World War II. He would have missed all the fun of the 1936 youth conference. :-)

    Comment by Steve C. — September 6, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  17. Thanks again, Steve. I should just leave all those questions to you and avoid looking two-thirds uninformed!

    I’ve actually put together quite a number of these photo posts already, waiting in Keepa’s draft queue (there are so many posts in that queue that I could be dead a year before anybody noticed). A second 1936 post has another picture from this conference, Steve, which is probably the same one you’ve described from the Church News. It all must have been as interesting to church members in 1936 as it is to us, since they used the same material in both publications.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 6, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI